Meet Kshama

“At a time of budget cuts, the Seattle City Council pays themselves nearly $120,000 a year, more than any other council in the U.S. except LA! If elected, I will only take the average worker’s wage and donate the rest to building social movements.” – Kshama Sawant.

In the 2013 general election, Sawant defeated 16-year incumbent Democrat Richard Conlin for a seat on the Seattle City Council. She is the first socialist to be elected in Seattle for more than a century. This trailblazing campaign is based on funding human needs, not corporate greed.

Sawant is an economics teacher at Seattle Central Community College and a member of the American Federation of Teachers Local 1789. She was an activist in the Occupy Wall Street movement, and is a fighter for workers, women, LGBTQ people, and immigrants.

In 2012 Sawant won a historic 29% with over 20,000 votes as a Socialist Alternative candidate against Democratic WA State House Speaker Frank Chopp – the strongest vote for an independent left-wing candidate in the U.S. in 2012, and the highest vote for a socialist in decades.

About the Kshama Sawant Campaign for City Council

While big business posted record profits last year, working people in Seattle face unaffordable housing, low wages, slashed social services, and high taxes.

The Democratic Party has run this city for decades. The mayor and all the city council members are Democrats and are representing only a tiny spectrum of political opinion and the interests of the people of Seattle, namely Paul Allen and the richest 1%, along with Amazon, Starbucks, big property developers, and downtown business interests. The 99% have no political representation.

As a city councilor, Kshama Sawant will use her position to help build, unite, and give political voice to the struggles of low-paid workers, youth, people of color, and all those who are shut out by the political machine that runs this city on behalf of the wealthy elite.

The Sawant campaign does not accept any corporate funding. Our financing relies solely on the support and sacrifice of ordinary people and activists.

While the Democratic Party pays lip service to working people, in reality both the Democrats and Republicans serve the interests of a tiny financial aristocracy. The Sawant campaign is an opportunity to break out from the prison of corporate politics.

We need to build a mass workers’ party drawing together ordinary people, youth, and activists from Occupy, unions, and environmental, civil rights, and women’s rights campaigns to provide a movement-based opposition to the corporate political parties.

We live in one of the richest cities in the richest nation on earth. There is no shortage of resources. Capitalism has failed the 99%. Another world is both possible and necessary – a socialist world based on the needs of humanity and the environment. Please support our campaign and join the struggle for democratic socialism!

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commented 2015-02-25 02:32:28 -0800 · Flag
Meet Kshama
commented 2015-02-22 14:32:45 -0800 · Flag
Meet Kshama
commented 2015-02-17 20:56:18 -0800 · Flag
Dear Kshama,
I am a young socialist living in the midwest. As a high school student in my current location, I don’t often come across others my age who share my beliefs, or are even able to tell the difference between Stalinist Communism and a Social Democracy.

Due to this, I am planning on attending the Socialism 2015 Conference in Chicago. I am a large fan of your work in Seattle, and wish my own local government had more politicians like you in it. I have enjoyed listening to some of your lectures online, and I am wondering if you will be speaking at Socialism 2015.

Torrin Myers
commented 2014-07-31 23:24:19 -0700 · Flag
Dear Kshama,
This email is an introduction to our efforts in India. Hope we can usher in the much needed change in this world to solve all its problems. We stand for the welfare of each and every human being. For more information about our ideology, please refer to:
Socialist Center is an effort to solve the problems faced by every Indian. It represents democratic socialist ideology that strives to achieve welfare of all in a peaceful, law abiding and democratic manner. We stand for the rights of each and every Indian – be it workers, farmers, students, professionals, servicemen, housewives, senior citizens, children, unemployed, self-employed, beggars, homeless, and other sections of our society.
We publicly condemn and stand against the neoliberalist and crony capitalist policies that serve only the richest and exploit every section of the society. These neoliberalists and crony capitalists have hijacked the policy-making mechanism, looted the resources of our country and left this country with nothing but poverty, hunger, malnourished children, poor public health system, crimes, inflation, unemployment, poor economy, illiteracy, environmental destruction, and other problems.
We also condemn any social order with dictatorial characteristics.
1) Free, High Quality Education For All From Pre-School Through University
2) Free, High Quality Public Health Care System
3) Affordable Basic Necessities Of Life : Food and Shelter, Electricity, FREE Drinking Water
4) Equal Opportunities For All
5) Secure Jobs For All (in both Public and Private Sector)
6) Better, Guaranteed Pay, Wages and Salaries
7) Improved Working Conditions
8) Protection Of Farmers’ Rights
9) Effective Social Security System For Each and Every Citizen
10) Rule of Law: Justice for All
11) Safety of Our Citizens (Law and Order)
12) Efficient, Certain, Non-Discriminatory and Time Bound Legal/Judicial System
13) Zero Tolerance Towards Crime and Corruption
14) Innovation
15) Scientific Research and Development
16) Utilization Of The Resources For The Welfare Of Each And Every Citizen
17) Governance and Administration with a Vision
18) Provision of Free Public Utilities and Social Services
19) Cleanliness and Improved Sanitation
20) Sustainable Development with focus on Environment
21) Massive Expansion of low fare, convenient and accessible Public Transport
22) Women Empowerment
Twitter: @lawyerparamjeet

Paramjeet Singh
Lawyer, Supreme Court of India
LL.M. (MIPLC), Germany
Twitter: @lawyerparamjeet
followed this page 2014-04-02 07:45:07 -0700
commented 2014-03-21 11:17:55 -0700 · Flag

When pale Sarah swoons at J. Calhoun n sermonizes from his scroll
When radicals get rifled for rebuking stratospheric cruise control
When your campground becomes a compound that confederates your soul
This ain’t your land – take off your arm band n ante up your toll.

When Stephen Foster’s children’s choir praises Ayn Rand’s malnutrition
Don’t you cry for me – we’ll build the highway called modern abolition
Today – today – today – today
Until the ante bellum maestros have all gone away.

When the needs of ninety-nine are to subject to the wealth of one
When the Capitol is for capitalists to have lots of fun
When Caesar’s power squelches all with a zillion barrels of oil
Our revolution belches steam from troubled water on the boil.

When Stephen Foster’s children’s choir praises Ayn Rand’s malnutrition
The old folks at home join hands to make one fist for modern abolition
Today – today – today – today
Until the ante bellum maestros have all gone away.

When their eyes have seen the glory of just when n where we flew
When digital denominators cipher how we screw
When Gordian generals bugle kids to make a crimson score
We’ll crosscut the imperial knot n spring the trap door.

When Stephen Foster’s children’s choir praises Ayn Rand’s malnutrition
Hard times come again no more walk tall with modern abolition
Today – today – today – today
Until the ante bellum maestros have all gone away.

But if you can’t set the hook in what this is all about
You ain’t been called low down or put down low
Day in n day out – we got red elephants n blue donkeys
In these divided states – we’ll throw our own party so that we can celebrate.

When Stephen Foster’s children’s choir praises Ayn Rand’s malnutrition
No pasarán – close ranks n tip the scales toward modern abolition
Today – today – today – today
Until the ante bellum maestros have all gone away.

Tim Mills 2014
commented 2014-03-20 15:24:47 -0700 · Flag
Again, Lawrence SO NICELY SAID…Who decides? We do. You do.
Simple— but you must FIRST question and then recognize that Capitalist dogma is based on destructive myths: people are selfish, people are lazy, competition creates the best results, not enough ‘ordinary’ people could be competent or trustworthy enough to make a new society/new democracy/new economy work, it’d be too complicated, too easy to corrupt: BASICALLY democracy can’t work so FORGETABOUT IT! Yet, ever think about all the ‘moving parts’ that go into a typical Capitalist transaction? Lets say the cheap junk sold everyday at Walmart or the more expensive junk sold at The Gap. Capitalist corporate decisions? Global to The Malls? NOW THATS COMPLICATED! But what we it accept as ‘business as usual’. Democracy won’t be perfect, but given a new cooperative basis, the direction would be simplified: human-centered, health-centered, HAPPINESS-centered! Every epoch of change has been a time of doubt & a time of hope. We get that. Ours is no different. But conscious ideas about a better way of living & working together—and strategizing how we can do it—that can make peaceful & gradual transition possible. Time to begin.
commented 2014-03-20 15:01:06 -0700 · Flag
Randy, As Tim nicely put it….Unless you don’t count ‘yourself’ a person….or you have given up on the notion of democracy being possible…a democracy model that balances & integrates both parts of human life (community -which encompasss family & everyday life ….& work-which encompasses work site, school, training & all forms of societal production/contribution to the Commonwealth) so that what, where, how, how much and when are all taken into account, all interacting and seen as elements that create a healthy & happy quality of life. Today, under Capitalism, these considerations exist BUT decided by the few to profit the few …and to hell with the consequences. Capitalism’s days are numbered, by every measure of survivability. Read Jeremy Rivkin’s NYT editorial
this past week. Its a warning to Capitalists. And in the Universe, nothing lasts forever. So, as Gar Alperovitz asks “Whats Next?” We think a clear vision of a new society must be transitioned toward,and ultimately building a new economic & civic model based on a cooperative democracy (where we live AND where we work) is the only solution for our country…maybe years off but slowly and peacefully evolving to replace this present one which is winding down. We need to get serious about moving toward a new way to live & work together—a solution based on humanity and a healthy planet. Check out our website or write us at
commented 2014-03-20 14:45:56 -0700 · Flag
Tim, We invite you to go to our website….Your comment about ‘sweat equity’ might connect to our “Labor-TimeCredit Debit Accounts”… exchange based on real-life, not an abstraction that is manipulated (money) Go to or write us at
@jeaninemolloff tweeted link to this page. 2014-02-04 18:10:18 -0800
posted about this on Facebook 2014-02-04 18:10:18 -0800
Meet Kshama
commented 2014-01-19 20:03:33 -0800 · Flag
WASP needs your donations: South Africa general election sometime between April and July 2014

In August 2012 at Marikana, South Africa, the capitalist ANC government murdered 34 striking platinum mine-workers in cold blood.

To fight them back the mine-workers, together with the DSM (Democratic Socialist Movement — the Committee for a Workers’ International’s affiliate in South Africa, just like Socialist Alternative is in the USA) gave birth to WASP (the Workers’ and Socialist Party).

We want to build WASP as the mass fighting party of all sections of the working-class, as a grand confederation of all the oppressed, with each group within it empowered and encouraged to defend their own ideas against all others — while adhering to a common minimum programme for struggle.

As part of that ongoing class war, WASP are running candidates for many federal, provincial and city council positions at the next general election due sometime between this April and July.
As workers’ delegates, on workers’ wages plus publicly-auditable expenses — all the rest goes to the struggle!
Against all the capitalist enemy’s parties — their African National Congress, their South African “Communist” Party, their Democratic Alliance, their Agang, and whatnot.

To do that effectively we need your money, please:

Here’s the WASP website:

And where you can donate:

Thank you!

Our socialist sister Kshama Sawant’s victory in Seattle arms us with unanswerable arguments for the battle throughout the world, and nowhere more so than in South Africa:
“Oho, so you say the ANC capitalist apparatchiks are all too well-entrenched to be turfed out by popular vote?”
“Then how did your sister Kshama Sawant and her friends kick out the incumbent of the Democratic Party, the mirror-image of the ANC in the USA?”
“Sure it’s just one city council position, but nevertheless in a major US metropolis, in the heart of the capitalist Moloch!”
“So what your US sisters and brothers did, let’s do in our own hometowns!”

Struggle, Solidarity, Socialism!
commented 2014-01-17 07:03:35 -0800 · Flag

You fail to recognize that a wealthy handful of people begin their lives on third base. Equal opportunity is not universal.

The upper class inherits its role in society in corporate royalty or government officialdom. These fortunate few are born and bred to rule. They do not have to plot against workers. They own. They sell. They hire. They fire. They run the casino. They write the rules. They make big decisions from the stratosphere. The damage done to working class people is purely symptomatic and collateral.

China and the old Soviet Union are terrible examples of liberty-based social democracy or democratic socialism. However, they do teach lessons that we must learn: (1) There is no acceptable substitute for a majoritarian movement guided by civil provisions which delineate individual rights for all. (2) There is no final stage in the struggle for justice. (3) New and independent institutions must be allowed to participate in public power. (4) Different types and sizes of enterprise stewardship (composed of public, private, employee owners,etc.) should be founded upon democratic principles which hand control over to people closest to the process.
commented 2014-01-17 05:46:29 -0800 · Flag
the example for the mother is a very real hard choices.. the facts are that everybody no matter from all walks of life have the same opportunities as others…the trick is finding them and take advantage of them. like an education, training for better jobs with better benefits, start your own business. finding ways to reach your goals in life.. isn’t that what we teach our kids? we teach about the value of money and saving, work, study hard and get good grades, set goals and achieve those goals. we do not reward mediocrity, I don’t believe that the top 1% has some type of plan to make the rest of us not succeed, I say this is bullshit… People from all walks of life each and everyday find ways to better their situations,,, they become doctors, lawyers, teachers scientists and business owners, equality is only limited to how far we are willing to go in life…just takes a lot of work… no life is not fair, does that mean because some have less than others that we should drag the ones who does have some kind of success in life. for instance, Kshama Sawant urging the union members at boeing to “Take over the factories for the democracy, and build busses,” really? does the business owners have less right or equality than anybody else…This sounds totally absurd. “Batshit Crazy if you ask me.” when we limit how far each and everyone of us can go to in life, are we simply giving up our rights in the name of equality? who in this utopian workers paradise gets to decide our limits in the name of equality? and where have we heard this workers paradise before? china, soviet union,,, didn’t work so well there… I do not believe in leaving people behind as a human being people deserve better. can we as a people force basic human compassion on the rich, simply because they are rich..The answer is No…if they choose to do what is right, like bill gates and warren buffet, isn’t that a choice? are these people simply because they are rich and have more than me or you worth less as a human being? Sorry, no offense intended,, I’m not buying into it…
commented 2014-01-17 03:45:30 -0800 · Flag
Freedom and equality spring from actual living conditions, not from the gaseous pretensions of professors or politicians. Freedom “rings” hollow if the majority are left with lousy choices. Equality does not exist for working people if they are denied reasonable access to choices that only the rich enjoy.

Example: A single working class mom is free to choose between a day’s pay and taking her sick child to the doctor. Under the present social scheme, such freedom puts no more beans in the pot, and takes us nowhere down the road to any sort of meaningful equality:


I got my head chopped off in the ‘82 dive
Though I was just one of the one out of five
We stood in line forever out on the street
We burnt lips on coffee and shuffled our feet
We were bent on trying to keep our bodies warm
We bundled up our dignity away from the scorn.

That’s why we been preoccupied
Democracy filleted is democracy denied
Them that’s cut – them that’s not – that’s the great divide
That’s why we been preoccupied.

But there came a rotten day when they started hirin’ scabs
Though I never met a worker whose back that I would stab
I hear a pencil-necked woman who waddles snorts and scoffs
“You think you’re too good to work – they should just cut you off
I sure hope they stop your check if you nix this job”
So I gave her a wink and misbehaved a big yank – on my thingamabob.

That’s why we been preoccupied
Democracy filleted is democracy denied
Them that’s cut – them that’s not – that’s the great divide
That’s why we been preoccupied.

Bedraggled by unwanted ads – somehow the family made it
It’s our blue cross to bear the baby – unless we prepaid it
We haggled with the kaiser for maternal bennies
Thanksgiving from the bighearted boss – we juggled every penny
They say “Just tell us again – what the day was she conceived”
That got me wearin’ and laissez faire-in’ my colors on my sleeves.

That’s why we been preoccupied
Democracy filleted is democracy denied
Them that’s cut – them that’s not – that’s the great divide
That’s why we been preoccupied.

It’s a rich man’s diversion of cheatin’ and stealin’
It’s up to us ninety-niners to commence with the healin’
We’ll get together – set up our own shops
We’ll honor the weather and divvy up the crops
We won’t get fixed in his emergency room
‘cause the whole damned system’s en route to the tomb.

That’s why we been preoccupied
Democracy filleted is democracy denied
Them that’s cut – them that’s not – that’s the great divide
That’s why we been preoccupied.
commented 2014-01-16 07:40:43 -0800 · Flag
how long do you suppose, that if we regulate the rich, and limit peoples rights, do you think that your rights could be put on the chopping block in on this road to equality. as for freedom, we have that now, seems like that is exactly what we will be losing if we continue down this path… I am all for equality, I am not for limiting my rights
commented 2014-01-16 07:31:02 -0800 · Flag
People’s needs may be separated into two buckets: societal needs and personal needs. One could define societal needs as a basic cushion upon which all the people may rely. Personal needs differ from those of society in that I might choose (or not choose) from society’s common bucket; this bucket forms the universal foundation for a truly free society.

Equal pay for equal work means every able-bodied person draws what she/he contributes to the common bucket. I like to call it “sweat equity.”
commented 2014-01-16 06:40:45 -0800 · Flag
Randy Wyant asks who decides what his needs are. The answer is obvious. You do. But if what you say you “need” is to be richer than everyone else or have much more than everyone else, to an extreme and obviously not a need but a “want,” and it’s at the unnecessary expense of others, that’s a sign of something out of balance in you. For one thing it shows that you don’t care about others to a level where you would cause harm to others and it doesn’t bother you. Those people who have millions of dollars, much more money than they would ever need or could even spend in more than one lifetime, to have an enjoyable satisfactory and fulfilling life, have some kind of an imbalance in their values.
commented 2014-01-16 06:29:18 -0800 · Flag
if socialism states that things like, education, social services, money, education would be distributed based on the peoples need, then who gets to decide what my needs are? because it doesn’t sound like me…..
commented 2014-01-11 12:19:27 -0800 · Flag
This Is What It Takes (For Nadezhda Tolokonnikova)

Give us all the store clerks n all the traffic cops
We’ll take all the bartenders n janitors with mops
All ex-husband truck mechanics paying child support
Every peaceful ex-offender headed back into court.

Give us all the school teachers n the merchant marines
We’ll take all the toolmakers n the jacks who pump latrines
All ex-boxers turned pro-wrestlers ex-employees now retired
Every soothsayin’ sad sack who fell asleep and got fired.

‘cause this is what it takes
This is what it takes
This is what it takes
To make a revolution.

Give us all the book binders the clockwinders n rumrunners
We’ll take all the freehanders the firebranders n goodfunners
All extraordinary gardeners who love planting trees n flowers
Every sharp-elbowed stevedore who’d storm the palace tower.

Give us bricklayers dragonslayers cardplayers – forming squads of three
We’ll take all the debtor slaves who conjure parting of the sea
All ex-lawyers turned bus drivers ex-females turned into men
Every bright-eyed smithy who hammers swords outta fountain pens.

‘cause this is what it takes
This is what it takes
This is what it takes
To make a revolution.

Give us digital wizards gourmets with gizzards hard-bark grenadiers — set to ignite
We’ll take overflowed union halls clerics sewing coveralls ham-fisted scrappers who last all night
All windswept wanton equestrian women who’d flip off his highness n trample his ambition
Every unshorn lowborn lock-jawed leveler who’d convene the congress n commence the abolition.

Give us all these stand-up people — those who want a fair deal
We’ll welcome all the injured sick n tired who keep an even keel
All the underlings footstompers sword swallowers n hip cats
Every noisy discontented heart-attacked worker who’s gnawing through the slats.

‘cause this is what it takes
This is what it takes
This is what it takes
To make a revolution.

Tim Mills 2013

This Is What It Takes is dedicated to the revolutionaries among us.
commented 2014-01-06 17:01:41 -0800 · Flag
Congratulations to the people of Seattle with a conscience for choosing wisely. Now you have a true voice. Kshama, you rock.
commented 2014-01-06 10:14:49 -0800 · Flag
congratulations & thanks – i may not have to emigrate to norway after all!
commented 2014-01-04 10:06:40 -0800 · Flag
What a remarkable & historic way to begin 2014! CONGRATULATIONS to Seattle voters & to the wonderful future Sawant’s win presages, not only for Seattle but for the rest of our country! The lesson? Democratic Socialism is not only necessary but POSSIBLE as a vision for a new society based on the needs and wants of people, not the insane effects brought on by dying & dysfunctional capitalism. Using the peaceful political process still available, we can vote in Democratic Socialists who can move consciousness towards a clear model we need to still envision, but one within our grasp. We need to recognize & use our creative energy (and VOTE ALTERNATIVE CANDIDATES EVERYWHERE!) create new institutions & legal frameworks that can lead toward a truly cooperative, healthy and humane new model- democracy WHERE WE LIVE & WORK thru cooperative, grassroots ownership & decision-making. Check out, its New Democracy Project (Visuals 1,2,3) and dvd “Re-Imagining NOW: Towards A New Society” to see how a real democracy— balanced, integrated and community-based— can work. Together, we can and will create a better & more equitable, abundant and liberated society. Sawant’s victory is just a beginning. Our best wishes to all as the seeds begin to sprout & a new day dawns,
PFANS editors
commented 2013-12-30 13:58:04 -0800 · Flag
Laurence, I would like to know how you came to the conclusion that just because one has made more money than they could spend in their life that it makes them turn into thoughtless, heartless people. How was this conclusion made and what data can you show to support your “facts”.
commented 2013-12-30 13:53:14 -0800 · Flag
Socialism is just making sure that everyone is able to have a decent life, not making sure that everyone gets filthy rich. When people have amassed more money than they could spend in two or three lifetimes, that is a sign of a mental and emotional sickness, thoughtlessness, heartlessness. They are dead inside so they are unable to appreciate that there are people who are in need and don’t respond in a helpful way to those in need.
commented 2013-12-30 13:45:13 -0800 · Flag
This country was not founded upon socialism. What you are attempting to do may be well hearted but it should be in the form of education and hard work not rewarding someones choice to remain in an entry level job for a lifetime. With education and experience comes prosperity, but not under socialism. Be careful of what you wish for just remember how Socialism hurt Germany and how it is a stepping stone to communism.
commented 2013-12-29 06:17:14 -0800 · Flag
Congratulations from Fairfield, Iowa. Look at,,, We are all here to help each other, even the ones who don’t want it or think they need it.
commented 2013-12-01 22:00:49 -0800 · Flag
Congrats from Los Angeles! I wish I could like Kshama on Facebook but I would get hate from all the right wing union guys at work! True! I dont get it.
commented 2013-11-30 16:32:40 -0800 · Flag
Thank you
commented 2013-11-29 05:35:49 -0800 · Flag
If your wish is an armed violent revolution, then dig two graves, one for yourself.

The chances that we might bringing on some positive changes to a corrupt dysfunctional political system are approaching lottery odds. That is not to say that we should not try to bring on such change but should just realize that failure is most imminent but just because you
might believe there is nothing you can do, does not mean you should do nothing. It means you should do something else. When what you are trying to do doesn’t seem to be working, then try something new. The problem is for most people “it’s the thief you know”. Too many of us prefer the old, tried and true even if it’s a failure, than to risk something new that is unknown. The something new might not work but the something old definitely does not work. That deep fear of the new is the precise reason we find ourselves in this disastrous circumstance. It’s a “complete failure of imagination”. The fact that the solutions to most all of our problems are already here right now or very near here is our tragedy. That the answers that we claim to be seeking are screaming in our ears and we refuse to hear is the true failure of our character. We ignore
we resist and repress viable possibilities and promote the utter failure of the status quo. The first law of nature is those that fail to adapt to a changing environment face imminent extinction. As far
as we know we are the only species of life who have the foresight to see the extinction coming and refuse to do much about it, even though we have the ability do something, it’s the wisdom we lack.
If there are survivors in our future they surly will be wondering what in the hell were they thinking or not thinking and why didn’t they do something else.
No one ever grew peace and love through death and destruction.
We change the way we live by changing the way we build.
H.J. Ridley, Jr.
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